Vietnam festival comes to Spitalfields—with food and politics

A Vietnamese summer festival is being staged in London’s East End for the first time ever on Saturday—with food,. dancing and of course politics.

Visitors get Vietnamese food, with 35 stalls, ‘pop-up’ restaurants and individual chefs serving seasonal delicacies at the free festival at Old Spitalfields Market, in what’s planned to be the first of an annual event.

Vietnamese music and dance performances are being staged with programmes choreographed for the festival, while artists display their drawings, paintings and ceramics.

The festival is organised by Vietpro, a group of Vietnamese professionals in the UK, with support from Vietin Bank, Vietnam Airlines and Experience Travel among others. Features include a treasure hunt for airline tickets—to Vietnam.

But it’s not without its politics. Veteran East End anti-war campaigner Len Aldis, who has been battling against Dow Chemicals’ sponsorship involvement in the London Olympics over its manufacture of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War in the 1970s, is running a campaign stall at Saturday’s festival.

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